Ayurveda and Gut health:
Taking Care of your Brain
By: Vivian L.
There is an old saying that "it's all in your head." But the latest science shows that it's actually all in your gut. Studies have shown a link between gut health, your brain, and your overall health and well-being. Called the "second brain," your digestive tract contains over 100 million nerve cells that communicate directly with your brain. The mind-gut connection research is newer to medical science but not new to Ayurveda which has recognized the mind-gut connection for thousands of years.
Ayurveda is an ancient holistic practice that emphasizes the Spiritual, Physical, and Mental well-being of the human body; and using natural remedies to realign a body that has gotten out of balance. One of the best-known Ayurvedic supplements is Turmeric. The benefits of Turmeric, widely known in the East for its properties supporting stomach health, are now becoming a tool used in the west. More than a spice, it is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
Scientific knowledge about Turmeric is evolving. In one study, participants with Ulcerative Colitis who took 2 grams of curcumin (the active ingredient in Turmeric) along with prescription medication were more likely to stay in remission than those who took medicine alone. The study concluded that curcumin was promising to help stave off digestive flare-ups.
Another way our gut can be out of balance is when the digestion process is blocked through constipation. Anyone who has experienced constipation knows how miserable it feels and does not want to try chemical-based approaches. Haritaki, the dried fruit of this tree found in Asia and Indian, has a long history in Ayurvedic practices to help return the body to balance. Haritaki is rich in vitamin C and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It serves as a natural laxative and contains dietary fibers, an important piece so often missing from the modern diet.
As with any supplement, consult with your medical provider before use.